Dozens protested and a family sought answers Friday after an 18-year-old student, who was working as a security guard for an auto body shop and had a gun, was fatally shot by deputies while running away from them, according to his employer, “because he was scared.”
The shooting occurred just before 6 p.m. Thursday in the 400 block of West Redondo Beach Boulevard, near Figueroa Street, in the unincorporated West Compton area near Gardena, according to Deputy James Nagao.
Andres Guardado, who was working as a security guard for Freeway Body Shop, died at the scene, according to the coroner’s office.
Andrew Heney, the owner of the shop at 420 W. Redondo Beach Blvd. told KCAL9 he can’t understand why the young man was shot.
“We had security out front because we had certain issues with people tagging and stuff like that, and then the police come up and they pull their guns on him and he ran because he was scared and they shot and killed him,” Heney said.
“He has a clean background and everything, there’s no reason (for the shooting).”
Guardado was not wearing a uniform and was not a licensed security guard, the sheriff’s department said. A gun, which did not have a serial number, was recovered at the scene and was loaded with a large-capacity prohibited magazine.
Deputies from the sheriff’s Compton Station were patrolling the area when they spotted Guardado, Lt. Charles Calderaro told reporters at the scene.
“Deputies observed the individual, at which point he observed the deputies,” Calderaro said. “The individual then produced a hand gun and began running southbound away from the deputies through businesses nearby.
“Deputies engaged in a short foot pursuit between the two businesses,” Calderaro said. “At some point, deputies contacted the suspect and that’s when the deputy-involved shooting occurred.”
Guardado was struck by gunfire in the upper body and pronounced dead at the scene, Nagao said. No deputies were injured.
Only one deputy fired at him, the department said.
Investigations by the Sheriff’s Homicide and Internal Affairs bureaus were underway, as is policy whenever a deputy-involved shooting occurs.
A memorial for Guardado was created near the scene of the shooting, where people dropped off flowers, candles and signs that read “RIP Andres my back was turned when they shot me,” and “Andres Guardado 18 y/o murdered by police.”
Family and protesters held signs that read “Justice for Andres Guardado! Stop killer cops!”
“He was a good man, he was going to make it in life,” his sister Jennifer Guardado told KCAL9. “My parents are completely destroyed. We’re all already dead inside.”
Guardado was an engineering student at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, according to William H. Boyer, director of communications for Los Angeles Community College District.
“On behalf of Los Angeles Trade-Technical College and the entire LACCD community, we express our sincere sympathy to Andres’ family and friends during this time,” district said in a statement.
“LACCD strongly supports the call by Mr. Guardado’s family for a full and independent investigation into the circumstances of the killing. His death comes at a time of national outcry for social justice and significant police reform regarding the use of deadly force by law enforcement and for greater emphasis on de-escalation techniques and community policing.”
Protesters were at the scene throughout the afternoon, but an organized demonstration took place at 6 p.m. at the corner of Figueroa Street and West Redondo Beach Boulevard near the shooting scene, according to a statement reporting that “Black and Brown Community organizations unite to denounce killings of two men by the LA County Sheriff’s Department in less than 48 hours.”
Terron Jammal Boone, a 31-year-old spousal abuse and kidnapping suspect, was killed in a gunbattle with Major Crime Bureau detectives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in the Kern County town of Rosamond on Wednesday.
In that encounter, the suspect was reported to have fired a weapon and, in fact, to have fired the first shots. He was later identified as a half-brother of Robert Fuller, the 24-year-old Black man found hanged from a tree in Palmdale last week.
Friday night’s demonstration was organized by Union del Barrio, the Harriet Tubman Center for Social Justice, and “various other community-based organizations,” the statement said, adding:
“Our demands will be: 1) Justice for Andres Guardado and his family! 2) Jail for all killer cops and sheriffs. 3) Community Control of the police/sheriffs.”
Anyone attending the demonstration had to make use of facial covering and maintain social distancing, the statement said.
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